The #1 Reason Your House Is a Mess

The #1 Reason Your House Is a Mess

Do you want to know the #1 reason your house is a mess? It’s because you have too much ‘stuff’. It is the same reason for every single person. Shocking right? Not really. It is not that your house is a mess it is the ‘stuff’ within it that is making it look that way. 

The #1 Reason Your House Is a Mess

The #1 Reason Your House Is a Mess

I have been on a serious purge the past few months (read my 10 Tips To Get Your House Clean and Keep It That Way post) and last night as I was washing the dishes for the 6th time that day it came to me. What if we just had fewer dishes to wash? Only 6 people live here but for some reason, I am washing 20+ cups every time I do the dishes? The kids all drink water only so is it really necessary for all these cups? What if they each got ONE cup that was colour-coded? Would the number of dishes diminish?

What if I could take this thought and totally run with it. One place setting for each person in the house and only a few serving dishes plus obviously our pots, would it make my house less messy? I think so and I am tempted to go searching for a set of rainbow plates to try this theory out.

In continuation of this thought what if you managed to have a closet full of quality pieces that could be mixed and matched, like a capsule wardrobe for each person? How much easier would it be to keep only 20 articles of clothing organized per person instead of the hundreds currently in each closet? My friend Tairalyn chats about why she did it here.

The biggest culprit in my house right now is the kids toys and although I will NOT be throwing them out I think if we had started out with the thought that they should only have ONE containers worth (think 1 under-the-bed storage container) right from the start then we wouldn’t be in the predicament we’re in now. 

And I know that with small children in the house it’s almost impossible to carry through with this notion because they seem to need so many items to keep them content but I think it’s completely possible to some degree. Forego the rooms full of toys for a few choice ones. If they never know the life of too much ‘stuff’ they really don’t think that they are missing out. 

I don’t really think that you have to go to a full minimalistic lifestyle but what if you only had enough items that you could keep them clean with say an hour of cleaning daily? What if the reason you could never wash, dry and put away the laundry in one day was that you owned too many clothes? How great would it be to throw your kid’s toys into one box and slide it under the bed at the end of the day? Fewer dishes to wash just equates to more time spent with your family or on something that brings you joy., not dishes. 

I know that the more I purge out of my house the less time I am spending cleaning it up. Staying on top of the mess seems to be manageable even with four kids, a dog and two parents that work from home. Now excuse me while I try to find a rainbow coloured plate set so I can put my theory in motion. 

What do you think is the reason your house is a mess? 

Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. kathy downey
    May 23, 2018 / 11:43 am

    You are so correct we really have too much stuff and with children the house will always be full

  2. ivy pluchinsky
    May 23, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    We just recently did a toy purge. I think its something us parents need to do sometime.

  3. kristen visser
    May 24, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    I usually do a toy and clothes purge. The collection of those items can be quite large especially the toys. and of course i am usually the one left cleaning them up so less is better for me lol. I agree with you with the dishes! its crazy the amount we go through especially cups. i have been starting to stick to one cup a day per person. you pick a cup in the AM and stick with that same cup throughout the day

  4. Calvin
    May 31, 2018 / 11:59 am

    Staying organized in life altogether is tough, it’s good to do a little at a time and maintain tidiness but life happens and everything is in shambles, sometimes just let it be. A big sweep clean is needed sometimes

  5. Tiffany Rotulo
    June 2, 2018 / 11:51 am

    The number one reason my house is a mess is because there are 6 people living here and only 1 who actually cleans up after themselves….that would be me. I do agree though, purging does help. Not just with toys but with everything. It makes it easier to keep organized. Now if I could just get everyone to put there dirty laundry in a dirty laundry basket…that would be helpful lol.

  6. Alanna W
    June 9, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    This is so true. Whenever I do a “purge” I find my house is tidier and that I’m spending less time organizing and feeling anxious about a messy home!

  7. kathy
    June 9, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    My Mother always tld me less was better,I guess she was right !

  8. Sandi Tymchuk
    June 10, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    My Papa always insisted on one cup per person per day, and with five children it made a lot of sense!

  9. Erin N
    June 10, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    It is a battle keeping up with cleaning and clutter! I need to do a big purge/donation myself. Thanks for the reminder 😛

  10. Tammi L.
    June 10, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    This is a HUGE problem for me. We moved from a large house with basement, main floor, and upstairs – to a tiny 2 bedroom condo. I mean tiny, 1000 square feet. I even have 2 storage rooms. One rented that is the size of a garage that is full floor to ceiling. I am just starting this purge thing… it’s hard, REALLY hard for me. I just took 2 garbage bags of clothes to Value Village, 2 bags of movies… of course this is just a drop in the bucket. But it’s a start.

  11. June 10, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    This exact thing happened to my mother in law and we are currently cleaning out her storage because she’s sick of paying almost $400 a month and almost everything is being donated. Small steps Tammi

  12. Treen Goodwin
    June 13, 2018 / 1:02 pm

    So very true , i hate clutter but i have lots of it we live in a old house with not storage and everything is every where !!

  13. Kristi F
    June 13, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    I think that in some ways I have too much stuff, and also the problem is that I don’t have enough storage space for things that are needed!

  14. Leanne
    June 14, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    I definitely agree . I try not to clutter to much and go through the rooms and clear things out all the time .

  15. AD
    June 16, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    Life is the number one reason my house is messy; I don’t clean or purge as often because I actually want to live and get out and have experiences.

  16. Debbie White Beattie
    June 16, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    I love to be organized and I would have neat if it wasn’t for hoarding husband because he never throws anything out

  17. Cheryl Grandy
    June 17, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    One cup per person per day is a good idea. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but haven’t implemented it yet.
    Whenever I start thinking we need a bigger house, I remind myself that what we really need is less stuff. But it’s sooo hard to get rid of things.

  18. kathy downey
    June 19, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    We had a yard sale on the weekend and the kids were happy to add the funds to their piggy banks

  19. Holly
    June 24, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    Love a good purge! It doesn’t hurt to have the kids help too

  20. Nate
    June 27, 2018 / 11:20 pm

    I try to donate my old items that way I don’t create a lot of clutter in the home

  21. January 16, 2019 / 6:42 pm

    WOW I was just thinking of doing this, so true about so much stuff. Clutter is the reason my house is a disaster 90 percent of the time. My problem is my three year old has extreme anxiety and can not handle letting things go. It is a work in progress over here! I have started watching tidying up on Netflix.

  22. Janet M
    January 19, 2019 / 1:36 pm

    I think that I need to pick up items and put them away after we use them.

  23. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    March 10, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    Sounds like a reasonable idea, though it does mean washing up more often when you only have one glass or plate. Now if the kids are old enough to do their own washing up that would solve that problem – on the other hand washing up more often would also mean using more water, increasing that bill. Not an easy problem to solve.

  24. kathy downey
    December 13, 2019 / 11:20 am

    We just went through the house and donated everything we no longer use. It amazing how much we gather over time !

  25. Cheryl Grandy
    November 29, 2021 / 4:00 pm

    I agree. Less stuff means less cleaning. Plus, if there’s less stuff, there’s more space, and that makes it easier to put things away (such as no more trying to push clothes into overstuffed drawers).

  26. April 30, 2022 / 1:22 pm

    After reading this, I looked at my kids toy boxes. They got 5!!!! Now I plan to lower it down to 2 tonight!

    And for the cups, ever since they started to eat together (my youngest became 6 months), I used a single cup all throughout the day for one kid, and another cup for the other. Both of them even understands by now which cup color is for their personal use – no one can use it even me!! Lol